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The (NY) Times, They Are a Changin'

Bloggers are taking the opportunity this morning to mourn the passing of the paid access feature at the New York Times. In addition to scrapping their TimesSelect feature, the Grey Lady has even decided to open up archives dating back to 1987 for free, in addition to releasing archives that date back all the way to the Civil War.

The blogosphere is, well, slightly ambivalent. However, some are pleased to see the shackles of oppression lifted from the likes of Dowd and Rich:

The fact that this decease comes to liberate the one part of the Times that really has been "liberal"--Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, occasionally Maureen Dowd when she isn't just flipping her hair and being impressed with herself--just at the moment when it's clear the tornado has dropped a house on the Wicked Witch of Washington, aka the Bush administration, I am sure is sheer coincidence.

Still, McQ has his doubts if NYT online will be able to regain all of those eye balls:

Prior to the Times Select debacle, people would go to the NYT regularly. That was eyes on the page, for which the NYT could charge premium online ad rates. Times Select killed that traffic, and what was left, people who kited in via Google, couldn't see the they left, killing the ad rates for banners, etc.

Now, the question is whether or not the NYT web site can reclaim those regular readers by exposing their columnists to the public again.

It'll be like meeting John Tierney all over again.

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